Jeremy Pruitt has undergone quite the tone change over the last month about his quarterback situation. The second year coach for Tennessee wouldn’t commit to any starters during fall camp, except for quarterback.
Jarrett Guarantano was the unquestioned starter for the Volunteers, who entered the season looking to take a few steps forward. Through four games, things couldn’t have gone much worse. Instead of taking a step forward in his fourth year in the program, Guarantano has gotten significantly worse — despite a better supporting cast around him.
His struggles forced Pruitt’s hand in Gainesville two weeks ago as true freshman quarterback Brian Maurer entered the game to start the second half. Pruitt also got Maurer work against Chattanooga, along with redshirt freshman JT Shrout.
What will he do against Georgia? On Monday, he didn’t want to let anyone in on his plan. On Wednesday, Pruitt floated the idea of playing all three passers.
Here’s his quote from Vol Calls.
“I think all three of the guys have worked hard in the last 10 days, just in preparation for this game. All three guys have a different skill set, and there’s a chance we could play all three guys.”
“I think that we’ll do whatever that gives us the best opportunity to have success. And if you look at those three guys, all three have a different skill set.”
This is 100 percent gamesmanship from Pruitt, of course.
But it is notable how different his tone is on the quarterback position. From “we have a quarterback” to “we could play all three guys” is quite the difference.
Tennessee will need some production from under center on Saturday night, too. Georgia hold the nations fifth-rated rush defense and will look to take that option off the table from the Volunteers. That would put all the pressure on the quarterback for Tennessee, which has proven to be a recipe for success for the Vols’ opponents.
While it’s probably unlikely that you see all three guys on Saturday night, the odds are pretty good that you will see both Guarantano and Maurer against Georgia.